January 24, 2024


Sunita Theiss

Alexandria, VA (January 24, 2024)—Women’s Public Leadership Network (WPLN), a non-profit that equips and encourages women to seek public office, announced today that WPLN Founder and President Larissa Martinez is one of 60 Scholars who will form the Presidential Leadership Scholars’ (PLS) ninth class.

For nearly a decade, PLS has served as a catalyst for a diverse network of leaders brought together to collaborate and create meaningful change in the United States and around the world as they learn about leadership through the lens of the presidential experiences of George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson and their administrations.

The class was selected after a rigorous application and review process. Scholars were chosen based on their leadership growth potential and the strength of their personal leadership projects aimed at improving civic engagement or social good by addressing a problem or need in their community, the country, or the world.

“I am beyond grateful for this opportunity to learn from and alongside incredible leaders,” Martinez said. “Across our country, there are women whose voices deserve to be heard where decisions are being made, and I’m eager to apply what I’ll learn to continue to empower these women to serve their communities.”

Martinez is a policy expert and skilled political strategist with a proven track record of delivering winning, multifaceted strategies by combining policy, communications and grassroots organizing expertise. An adept navigator of the political landscape with over a decade of leadership experience on Capitol Hill, Larissa has served as a senior Government Relations professional at Washington, DC-based government relations firm, Invariant, and on a presidential transition team. She received an MPA in Public Administration and Political Management from the University of Southern California and a BA in Political Science from the University of Georgia.

Over the course of the program, Martinez and her fellow Scholars will travel to each participating presidential center to learn from key former administration officials, business and civic leaders, and leading academics. They will study and put into practice varying approaches to leadership and exchange ideas to help strengthen their impact in the communities they serve.

Scholars have consistently reported remarkable growth in skills, responsibilities, and opportunities for impact since the program began in 2015. For example, 91% of Scholars said their confidence in how they lead social change has improved as a result of the PLS program.

The 2024 program kicked off on Jan. 24 in Washington, D.C.

About Women’s Public Leadership Network

Women’s Public Leadership Network (WPLN) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that educates, organizes, and inspires women to enter public office across the United States. We aim to mitigate barriers women face by partnering with a network of state-based organizations who identify, engage, and train women to run for elected office, obtain political appointments, and become more involved in the political process.  WPLN also offers tools and opportunities designed to equip women with the knowledge and resources they need as they step up, get involved in the political process, and lead.

About Presidential Leadership Scholars

The Presidential Leadership Scholars program is a partnership among the presidential centers of George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson. To learn more, visit www.presidentialleadershipscholars.org. For updates about the Presidential Leadership Scholars, use #PLScholars and follow @PLSprogram on Twitter and Instagram.